My hair has grown in quite curly.  If I leave it as it is, it may just keep growing outward, into Ronald McDonald proportions.  I’m actually considering cutting it and wearing it in a short buzz all the time.  If I do that, I’ll miss out on the wonderful possibility of having big, long, springy curls.  I wonder if it’ll just stop being curly at some point and continue to grow as it was.

It’s so strange that chemotherapy messes with something like hair when everything else remains the same.  What process is that?  If it changes my hair, why can’t it flatten my belly?  Or give me nice eyebrows?

Xeni Jardin

Xeni Jardin is a world-famous blogger and internet personality.  She was also diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before I was.  She’s kind of become my cancer guru.  She’s written all about her journey on boingboing.net.  Her writing helped me to anticipate what would happen before it happened, and assured me that it was okay to be pissed off and scared sometimes.

She’s vacationing here in Honolulu right now, and Ryan and I were lucky enough to have lunch with her a couple of weeks ago.  I’m so glad I got to meet her.  She’s lived such a colorful life.  I learned so much from our conversation and I actually feel a little humbled now.


My cancerversary is on Friday.  It’s been a year since my diagnosis, and it feels both much longer and much shorter than that.


I was sure when I started chemo that it would never end.  I went into one session sure I had at least three more, and when a nurse told me I had only one more, I was surprised.  Radiation went by so quickly that I can barely remember it now.  Mostly I remember one of my radiation techs, Deedee, and Leilani, a fellow patient, who made everyone in the clinic laugh.

When I think of how much time I’ve spent worrying about the future, though, that year seems like a decade.  It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve truly come to understand that if I have a recurrence, there’s nothing I can do about it.  I can try to prevent it by eating healthy and taking care of myself, but that’s all I can do.  It’s both frightening and liberating to come to that conclusion.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s still true: cancer has taught me what love is.  It’s taught me that love is not flowers and a ring and a church; it’s my husband changing my bandages.  Love is being near my kids; cherishing all the little moments.  Maybe it’s no coincidence that the cancer happened the same year Katie started high school.  In only a few years she’ll be starting her own life away from us.  Every day with her is more precious.

Spiritually, though, I don’t know where I am.  We’ve continued to go to church as a family all through my treatment, as we always have, but instead of feeling closer to my higher power, I don’t feel its presence like I used to.  It feels like I’ve been dropped off in the wilderness with only a map and pocket change, left to sort out my survival on my own.  I might get eaten by something, but I might not.  This uncertainty has led me to seek out help in my church, which has helped, I guess.

In a month or so, I’ll be able to talk to a plastic surgeon about reconstruction.  I didn’t think I wanted to go through another surgery, but I think it’ll help me a lot, mentally.